Few book categories are as entertaining as they are informative than those that focus on fashion and style. In fact, owning a few style books is downright essential for the well-rounded gent.
This is our roundup of the best books on personal style for men.
All of these serve as important resources, covering both specific genres and general fundamentals. Sure, clothes are a big part of style, but it’s also about feeling like your best self.
Plus, with the compelling visuals in men’s fashion books, many of these publications would be as helpful on your bookshelf as much as they’d add fun decor to your coffee table.
Best Men’s Style Books
The Sartorialist MAN
Scott Schuman is lauded for his years of chronicling street style all over the world on his blog and social media platforms.
The Sartorialist Man: Inspiration Every Man Wants, Education Every Man Needs, by renowned photographer, fashion editor, and social media sensation Scott Schuman, is the definitive fashion primer celebrating the diversity of today's well-dressed man.
The Sartorialist: MAN is a curation of looks organized in a way to help you discover or hone your own personal style, as opposed to using a set of cut-and-dry rules.
Using real, everyday people, this contemporary approach is essentially a crowd-sourced guide, cleaned up by an expert eye. You’ll find a range of individual styles from all over the world, from guys of all ages and body types.
Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style
As with watches and cars, Japan’s relationship with American clothing has inspired fashion all over the world. In Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, you’ll find out why the best contemporary pieces of fashion Americana tend to come from Japanese labels.
In Ametora, cultural historian W. David Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past hundred and fifty years, showing how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style.
Looking for top-notch jeans? Japanese selvedge denim is the gold standard. Bang-for-buck basics? Uniqlo is a common go-to. Want a reliable, good-looking, and affordable timepiece? Seiko watches tops that list.
In this history, cultural expert W. David Marx looks at a 150-year history of how Japan adapted, perfected, and made American fashion their own—for everyone!
American Fashion Menswear
A celebration of US style, flipping through the pages of American Fashion Menswear is a veritable parade of wide ranging aesthetics.
From Levi’s jeans and 1960s counterculture to the Ivy League and the Rat Pack, it’s fascinating to see how even the most unlike American subcultures had overlaps in fashion.
There’s a lot of good lessons there when it comes to incorporating new things into your own personal style!
Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row
Did you know the phrase “bespoke” references a system used by the tailors of a small London street? Pre-chosen fabrics were said to “be spoken for” for specific customers and their specific
Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row reveals how, and why, this level of customization became the gold standard for upscale men’s style.
Savile Row’s cultural contributions are highlighted through the individual profiles of twenty-six master tailors, taking us on a fully-illustrated journey from their London studios to Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, and beyond.
The Curated Closet
Truly a book that everyone should have regardless of your personal style, The Curated Closet is all about efficiency—and who doesn’t like that?
With actionable tips, you can learn to shop smarter and make the most out of your budget. Meanwhile, easy formulas and tricks will show you how to quickly put outfits together for any occasion, regardless of how adept you are at fashion.
This book is all about making your closet an easily-navigated place of quality, not necessarily quantity. Plus, the charts and infographics are super helpful.
And yes, you may notice this book is targeted to women wanting to build a curated closet, but the lessons are universal and easily applicable to a man’s closet.
Men And Style
In Men and Style, David Coggins presents fashion rules and life lessons as being undeniably connected. Coggins is a revered style and manners guru, who has written for everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Esquire.
In this ultimate guide, he presents essays, advice, and also interviews fashion industry professionals, which adds a fun conversational aspect.
In addition to being a useful set of directives, Men and Style is wildly entertaining. When Coggins tells you to “never order pink cocktails,” it’s partly true, but mostly humorous.
Take Ivy displays the easy elegance of old America in its natural habitat: The campuses of Ivy League schools. And few subcultures have mastered relaxed and classy the way these fellows have.
Originally published in the 1960s in Japan, this beautiful photography book features all of the staples of east coast repose, from cable-knit clad men sipping martinis in boat houses to the ubiquitous use of rowing blazers at Columbia’s Saint Anthony Hall and Harvard’s Porcellian Club.
Esquire, The Biggest Black Book Ever
Arguably one of the most comprehensive “how to be” guides for men, The Biggest Black Book Ever from Esquire is, as its title implies, A Man’s Ultimate Guide to Life and Style.
From work and grooming to fitness and sex, it's got 1,037 tricks, techniques, and secrets so you can handle yourself with confidence and style, whether you're meeting the boss, going on a first date, or attending a black-tie event.
Style is more than just clothes, and long-time Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger reveals the cut-and-dry rules for every single aspect of a man’s life: grooming, relationships, fitness, careers, and much more.
Within this lifestyle bible, you’ll find 1,037 secrets and techniques to maximize all of the balls you, and all modern men, are constantly juggling—from networking to first dates to black-tie events.
Menswear Dog Presents the New Classics: Fresh Looks for the Modern Man
Menswear Dog aka Bodhi the Shiba Inu, presents the new classics with Fresh Looks for the Modern Man. Yes, Bodhi wears all of the outfits, which makes this publication outrageously charming and the perfect book to have on your coffee table when you’re hosting a party.
Hilariously enough, it’s a genuinely helpful fashion book. There’s tips on how to shop thriftily, when to invest, and how to get the proper fit.
Bodhi focuses on timelessness and versatility, whether you’re dressing up for casual Friday, a summer wedding, or looking for fall layers.
Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures
A genuine anthropological study (but a fun one), Style Tribes breaks down every single youth movement from the past century, from flappers and rockers to disco, all the way into hipsters, hip hop, and Harajuku style.
Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures explores the style, fashions and ideology of youth movements of the last 100 years, including flappers, swing kids, mods, rockers, surfers, hippies, punks, disco, hip hop, Harajuku and hipsters.
Not only does this fascinating read tell you all about their origins, usually out of rebellion to each’s current historical context, but their legacies as well.
Staples that we all wear all the time, t-shirts and leather jackets for example, were once part of a youth movement before they became essentials. Basically, these stories are for everyone!
True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear
G. Bruce Boyer is both an esteemed fashion expert whose influence extends from traditional Town & Country to fashion-forward GQ and beyond, as well as the fashion world’s de facto mentor.
In True Style, acclaimed fashion expert G. Bruce Boyer provides a crisp, indispensable primer for this daily ritual, cataloguing the essential elements of the male wardrobe and showing how best to employ them.
In True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear, Boyer is firm but non-judgmental as he enlightens us on everything from how to combine textures and patterns, to the unique uses of different fabrics and their histories.
An instant classic when it debuted, this guide aims to create discerning gentlemen without the snobbery.
Elegance, A Guide to Quality in Menswear
Yet another G. Bruce Boyer entry, this time with a focus on upscale and bespoke menswear.
Just like in True Style though, Elegance tears down the intimidation factor, ensuring the knowledge and actionable tips surrounding gentlemanly style is available to anyone who’s willing to learn.
A book that is at once practical, delightful, and historical, a guide and source book, illustrated with over 60 drawings, to help you find your way through the expanding and often confusing world of menswear.
It’s a readable book rooted in practicality, history, and a lot of helpful and entertaining images.
ABC of Men’s Fashion
Most men know the style proverb, “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”
Well, it originated from the tried-and-true classic, ABC of Men’s Fashion. I like to describe it as the Mastering the Art of French Cooking of the menswear world.
It’s organized like a dictionary, making it easy to navigate, yet Sir Hardy Amies absolutely doesn’t write it like a dictionary, mixing humor and wit in with his timeless style advice.
Mario Testino SIR
Limited to only 1,000 signed and numbered copies, Mario Testino SIR is truly a piece of art. Not only does it feature over 300 images taken by the fashion photography legend, several of which unpublished until this tome, but the book itself is exquisitely built.
It’s bound in beautiful Japanese cloth and presented in a polished and embossed metal slipcase.
From celebrities to athletes to models, the style inspiration in these pages are so artistically curated, that you can flip through this book over and over. There’s also the budget-friendly non-limited coffee table trade version.
Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion
What is cool, exactly? In Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion, formerly underground styles that are currently mainstream, and even classic, are fully dissected.
Some cool kid cultures and fashions in this book include the greasers from the ‘50s, the New York club kids from the 1980s, and ‘90s grunge, among many others.
From their music to their slang, what all of these styles had in common was a way of being that the rest of society needed to “catch up to.”
The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman
Let’s face it. The phrase “smart casual” can be confusing these days. In The Laws of Style, Douglas Hand navigates you through the constantly changing world of casual Friday.
Witty, bright, charming, and informative, The Laws of Style is at the same time a striking visual resource with more than 40 illustrations created by renowned fashion illustrator Rodrigo Saldana.
The best part about this book is he explores every industry and every possibility. Smart casual at a tech start-up isn’t exactly the same as smart casual for a banker, or say an art dealer or an agent.
There’s a mix of guidelines and advice, as well as tips and tricks, to ensure anyone can create the right approach for himself.
Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
If you don’t want to scroll through old pictures only to find you regret everything you wore from this year to that year, then Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion is the book for you.
Dressing the Man is the definitive guide to what men need to know in order to dress well and look stylish without becoming fashion victims.
It’s all about using proportion and color to create straightforward but stylish outfits that stay full clear of any faux pas and basically anything that isn’t trend-resistant.
Moreover, style guru Alan Flusser gives easy advice that allows you to do this without completely dampening your self expression.
Menswear Fashion Books: An Overview
Here’s an at-a-glance look at our list of recommendations for the best books on personal style!
|Type of Style
|The Sartorialist: MAN
|Streetwear, casual, formal, smart casual, fashion-forward
|Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style
|W. David Marx
|American, casual, historical
|American Fashion Menswear
|Robert E. Bryan
|American, casual, formal, historical
|Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row
|Formal, bespoke, traditional
|The Curated Closet
|Casual, smart casual, formal
|Men and Style
|Casual, smart casual, formal
|Shosuke Ishizu, Toshiyuki Kurosu, Hajime Hasegawa, Teruyoshi Hayashida
|Smart casual, traditional, American, fashion photography
|Esquire, The Biggest Black Book Ever
|Esquire, David Granger
|General style, casual, smart casual, formal
|Menswear Dog Presents the New Classics: Fresh Looks for the Modern Man
|David Fung, Yena Kim
|Casual, smart casual, formal
|Streetwear, casual, smart casual, historical
|True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear
|G. Bruce Boyer
|Classic, traditional, historical
|Elegance, A Guide to Quality in Menswear
|G. Bruce Boyer
|Formal, smart casual, traditional
|ABC of Men’s Fashion
|Sir Hardy Amies
|Traditional, casual, smart casual,
|Mario Testino SIR
|Mario Testino, Pierre Borhan
|Fashion forward, fashion photography
|Cool: Style, Sound, and Subversion
|Streetwear, fashion-forward, historical
|The Laws of Style: Sartorial Excellence for the Professional Gentleman
|Smart casual, formal, professional
|Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion
|Classic, traditional, smart casual, formal
The Best Books Discussing Men’s Style: Which is your Favorite?
We hope this was helpful!
While certain books focus on specific fashions like Take Ivy or Cool, others like The Curated Closet and Men and Style are essentials regardless of your personal style.
What are some of your favorite books on men’s style? Which one are you going to get from this edit? Feel free to DM us on Instagram anytime!